Water does a great job of cleaning your bike, but a lot of clever products have been produced in recent years that work without water or with a reduced amount of water.
So if you’re a “greenie”, you’re in the middle of a drought, or you just want to keep your water bill down, there are plenty of products to help. I’ve recently been testing several of the Motul range of cleaning products from Link International.
For this test I used Motul Insect Remover and spray-on Moto Wash on my heavily-soiled BMW R 1200 GS and Motul Shine n Go and Wash & Wax on a Victory Cross Roads Classic test bike which copped a light spray of rain on the trip home from the dealer.
If you don’t have access to a high-pressure hose to remove the caked -on cow manure sand mud from an adventure ride, then a good spray with Motul’s Moto Wash loosens up the dirt so it just falls off when you wash it.
The biodegradable concentrated cleaner and degreaser costs $14.90 for a one-litre plastic spray bottle. You can use it on the whole bike – plastic, paint, metal, chrome, windscreen etc. Just let it sit for a couple of minutes, then give it a light rub with a sponge and rinse off without wasting a loot of water. Motul claims it protects paint, metal and varnish by leaving an anti-corrosive film. Obviously, don’t use it in the sun or on a hot surface.
Insects tend to be even tougher to remove, so I gave them a spray with Motul Insect Remover ($9.90 400ml). It’s important to get on to these early as bird droppings and dead insects can permanently spoil your paintwork.
The product takes a couple of minutes to soften the dead bugs, making it easier to wipe and rinse them off.
The Victory just had a light coating of road spray after riding through a shower on my way home from picking it up at the dealer. I still hadn’t taken any shots of her, so I needed the chrome looking sparkling and new. I didn’t want to wash it, so I gave it a light spray with Shine n Go and Wash & Wax. The two products seem to work the same, but Motul says they have different uses.
Wash n Wax ($14.90) is a dry cleaner with a “protective micro-crystalline wax”. Just spray it on and wipe it off with a soft, clean cloth. I use a micro fibre cloth. It leaves behind no waxy film and the chrome comes up a treat. No need for any water.
Motul says its Shine n Go ($17.90) has a silicone formula that not only shines but “revives the colours of motorcycle plastic parts”. It’s probably not necessary for a brand new bike, but maybe it works on older plastics. I don’t have any to try it on here.
They recommend it be used to restore the paintwork after washing, but I used it in the same way as the Wash n Wax without water and it worked just fine.
One word of warning about using any “dry” cleaner: Make sure there is no grit on the bike or you may scratch the surface when you rub in these cleaners.
Also, never, ever allow your cleaning rags, sponge or chamois to touch on the ground where they can pick up grit that can scratch your bike!